for this game

Penguins drub Sabres without Crosby

Mar 13, 2008 - 3:46 AM
By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - The Pittsburgh Penguins proved once again that they can score - and win - without Sidney Crosby.

After finding out earlier in the day they would be without the reigning league Most Valuable Player and scoring champion for the 22nd time this season due to his sore ankle, the Penguins went out and routed the Buffalo Sabres, 7-3, on Wednesday.

Tyler Kennedy had a goal and two assists and defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Kris Letang and Petr Sykora added a goal and an assist each for Pittsburgh, which improved to 12-6-4 without Crosby this season and have scored 72 goals in the games he has missed.

"It is important we scored so many goals (without Crosby)," said center Evgeni Malkin through his interpreter George Birman. "We had a lot of chances today and we scored on those chances. But still, it's hard to play without someone like Crosby. A player like Crosby, you're always going to miss him."

Malkin, Jeff Taffe and Chris Minard added tallies for the Penguins, who swept a season series from Buffalo for the first time since 1970.

"Everyone's trying to be a difference maker," Ryan Malone said about life without Crosby. "You see a lot of guys that played well tonight and we need everyone to step up like that. It's good for the team and it's just going to help us down the road."

Daniel Paille had two goals for the Sabres, who have lost four in a row and seven of nine, including three in overtime.

"It comes down to attitude and what it takes to win a hockey game," Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said. "And right now we don't have it.

"My opinion is we're not playing to win; we're playing not to lose. Which is defeatist in itself. It's never going to work."

Kennedy gave the Penguins the lead 3:30 into the contest when he took a lead pass at center ice from Pascal Dupuis and beat Miller with a deke to his forehand for his ninth goal of the season and first since January 5.

Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead into the third period on goals by Taffe - his fifth - and Gonchar - his 11th - while on the power play before a third-period offensive explosion when seven goals were scored.

Sykora started it off 56 seconds into the final session by converting a nice pass from Ryan Malone on the power play for his 23rd of the season.

The Sabres scored twice in the next 4:15 to briefly get back in the game.

Buffalo got on the board at 3:02 of the third when Jochen Hecht got the puck in the slot and threw a reverse backhand shot past Pittsburgh netminder Ty Conklin for his 18th of the season. Paille scored shorthanded 2:09 later when he collected a loose puck near center ice and blasted a slap shot past Conklin.

But Malkin added a power-play goal at 8:56 and Minard scored his first NHL goal 67 seconds later to make it 6-2.

"We're missing seven guys that are usually regular guys in our lineup," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "Sometimes you want to sit there and imagine what it would be like if you had Sid and all those players, but injuries are a part of the game and hopefully these guys get back sooner or later.

"As soon as we get everyone back, it'll be even better, but I think it just shows what a good job the guys from Wilkes-Barre are doing."

Paille added his second of the night and 16th of the season only 46 seconds later before Letang closed out the scoring at 13:23.

Buffalo defenseman Nathan Paetsch left the game with a concussion after an elbow to the chin by the Penguins' Georges Laraque early in the second period.

Paetsch lied motionless for several minutes and a stretcher was brought out before he regained consciousness and left the ice on his power. He did not return.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was incensed by the hit and said after the game that Paetsch could be out of action for a while. Ruff also called for a suspension for Laraque.

"If you take an elbow to the chin and you're out cold, how is that not suspendable?" Ruff said. "Someone would have to explain to me how it's not. It's a tough one, but he went after him and he got him right on the button and he knocked him out cold. I think that's an easy suspension.

"I don't how long or whether it was deliberate on his part, but everybody saw it. I don't think the video lies on that one."

Crosby missed 21 games between January 18 and March 4 with a high ankle sprain but had returned to play the previous three. He elected to sit out Wednesday's contest when the ankle felt sore during the game day skate.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 3 3
    PITTSBURGH 1 2 4 7 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - TYLER KENNEDY 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS) 3:30
    2ND PRD: PIT - JEFF TAFFE 5 (DARRYL SYDOR, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 6:35
    PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 11 (RYAN WHITNEY, PETR SYKORA)
    18:08
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) DARRYL SYDOR 2 (EVGENI

    Mar 12 10:13 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    PITTSBURGH 7
    3RD PRD: PIT - KRISTOPHER LETANG 6 (TYLER KENNEDY, PASCAL DUPUIS)
    13:23

    Sabres 3, Penguins 7  3rd - 6:37Mar 12 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    PITTSBURGH 6
    3RD PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 16 (STEVE BERNIER) 10:49

    Sabres 3, Penguins 6  3rd - 9:11Mar 12 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 6
    3RD PRD: PIT - CHRIS MINARD 1 (JORDAN STAAL, RYAN STONE) 10:03

    Sabres 2, Penguins 6  3rd - 9:57Mar 12 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 5
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 39 (DARRYL SYDOR, TYLER KENNEDY)
    8:56

    Sabres 2, Penguins 5  3rd - 11:04Mar 12 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: BUF - (SH) DANIEL PAILLE 15 (DEREK ROY, HENRIK TALLINDER)
    5:11

    Sabres 2, Penguins 4  3rd - 14:49Mar 12 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 18 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 3:02

    Sabres 1, Penguins 4  3rd - 16:58Mar 12 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) DARRYL SYDOR 2 (EVGENI MALKIN, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    0:56

    Sabres 0, Penguins 4  3rd - 19:04Mar 12 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - TYLER KENNEDY 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS) 3:30
    2ND PRD: PIT - JEFF TAFFE 5 (DARRYL SYDOR, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 6:35
    PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 11 (RYAN WHITNEY, PETR SYKORA)
    18:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Mar 12 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 11 (RYAN WHITNEY, PETR SYKORA)
    18:08

    Sabres 0, Penguins 3  2nd - 1:52Mar 12 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - JEFF TAFFE 5 (DARRYL SYDOR, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 6:35

    Sabres 0, Penguins 2  2nd - 13:25Mar 12 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - TYLER KENNEDY 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS) 3:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9 9
    PIT 7 7
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    PIT - TY CONKLIN

    Mar 12 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - TYLER KENNEDY 9 (PASCAL DUPUIS) 3:30

    Sabres 0, Penguins 1  1st - 16:30Mar 12 7:45 PM
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